WFLD to launch 4 a.m. newscast

Here we grow again: Fox-owned WFLD – known as Fox 32 – announced Thursday it was launching a new 4 a.m. newscast beginning April 10th.

The news was first reported by Broadcasting & Cable.

Anchoring the new 4 a.m. newscast is Kristen Nicole and Natalie Bomke. With the expansion, WFLD matches cross-town rival WGN-TV in the number of hours of morning news airing each day at six each from 4 to 10 a.m.

“The expansion to six hours of local news every morning is just another step in Fox 32’s commitment to providing our viewers local news when they need it, both on-air and digitally,” said Dennis Welsh, WFLD’s vice president and general manager in a press release.

It wasn’t long ago local stations across the country were adding 4:30 a.m. newscasts as viewers are getting up earlier and to attract advertisers who want to grab them. WGN was the first station to launch a 4 a.m. news show in 2011, followed by NBC-owned WMAQ-TV. With WFLD’s move, this leaves WLS-TV and WBBM-TV with 4:30 a.m. daily starts.

This is the latest news expansion by Chicago stations are the marketplace for first-run and off-network syndicated fare is drying up. Beginning Tuesday (not Monday), WGN is launching a new hour-long 6 p.m. newscast.

WFLD and sister station WPWR recently made programming moves of its own this week, with WFLD moving Extra from 6 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., replacing it with yet another run of TMZ, while adding an additional 6 p.m. airing of The Big Bang Theory to WPWR’s lineup.